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Back Pain During Pregnancy: Causes and Tips for Relief

Back Pain During Pregnancy: Causes and Tips for Relief
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Back pain can be brutal, and if you’re pregnant there aren’t many pain medications you can take to ease your pain. There are many causes for your pain that are directly related to your pregnancy. Your growing baby can pull on the muscles and tendons, the extra weight can be a stress, as well as throw your center of gravity off. What can you do to help alleviate the tension and back pain during pregnancy? My fiancee, who is currently pregnant, enjoys hot baths to alleviate the pain. Cold can help too, so put an ice pack on the affected area. Acetaminophen in low doses may be safe but you should always consult a doctor about taking it first. Your hormones are going crazy right now, which can cause a great deal of pain on its own. If you add in the fact that the life you’re carrying is growing exponentially you can expect the kind of pain that you won’t soon forget. Did I mention that you can’t take pain medication? If you’ve looked everywhere for relief look no further.

Tips for relief

There are other ways to help soothe your pregnancy woes than dangerous drugs. Holistic approaches such as acupuncture are viable options. More proven methods, like chiropractors in extreme cases, would fix any alignment issues or correct posture problems that result from carrying the extra load. You’re almost there! Unless you had back problems before you got pregnant, the symptoms are likely to lessen before giving birth. After the pregnancy they should desist entirely.

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I’ve always found that deep breathing helps clear your mind of all the troubles of the world; meditation can take your mind off pain. You’ll want to get in the most comfortable seated position possible. Start with your toes and focus on relaxing that one part of the body. Once your toes are relaxed, work your way up the legs. Then you can begin to relax all the muscles in your torso, but remember to keep breathing deep. Concentrate on relaxing your arms and then your neck and head. If this doesn’t help you take your mind off the pain, try some stretching that focuses on the back. This Pinterest page on Prenatal Yoga has some ideas that would help you if you are experiencing back pain during pregnancy.

Lower back stretch

Lying on your back, stretch your arms and legs out so that you look like a pregnant gingerbread woman, or a child making snow angels. Take your right leg and move it to the left, over your other leg while keeping both shoulders on the ground. You should ease into it and move your left leg back so that your legs are in opposite positions now. You may not be able to get your right leg to the floor but this will help your lower back. Do it for both legs to help that sore lower back.

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Upper back stretch

This one you can do seated. Start by taking your left leg and pointing it straight forward while keeping it on the ground. Your right leg should go over that one so that your right foot is on the left of your left knee. Now take your left arm and rest it on your right knee, that should be used to help you stretch your back to the right. Go slow, don’t over extend yourself too much. If you are able to face your right side perpendicularly to your left leg this will help stretch you upper back. And if you’re looking for more of a mid-back stretch, a downward dog position should be effective. Just make sure to practice these so that you’ll become more limber and the pain will lessen.

Being pregnant takes a lot of energy, so make sure to get enough rest. You should however, try sleeping in different positions to see which one hurts your back less. Most people find lying on their side will help but you may be different. Stretching just before bed with help you sleep more comfortably and wake up with less soreness or pain.

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If you have someone who is willing to or want to spend the money on a masseuse, a thorough back massage will also lessen some tension. Or you might also try having an orgasm, which releases endorphins that block pain signals–however you arrive there. Heating pads are easy to use. There are electric kinds and ones that you heat up in a microwave. A simple DIY heating pad is to put a few cups of rice in a sock. Tie it off at the end and pop it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Nothing sounds more relaxing than an oil massage with hot rocks, just remember to use the oven for those. Don’t overcook your rocks, and when you’re lying down for your partner to give you a massage you will need to use pillows to make sure there is no weight on your baby. Light some candles or use an aromatic scent and let them caress the pain out of you.

Warning!

The most important thing to remember is that if the pain becomes too severe you need to go to a doctor. Sudden and severe back pain could mean a serious problem. If your pain is coming in waves it could be contractions. You might be going into preterm labor. You should go to a hospital or see a doctor immediately.

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Breathe easier

Now that you’ve curbed your back pain you can feel better about yourself and your baby. They might be causing you some pain but they will be here soon, and as you greet them and usher them into their new world they will bring you enough joy to make you forget all your worries (and pregnancy pains). Should you decide to have another, remember what has worked for you this time. Many pregnancies are different. Subsequent children may be more trouble to carry than the last, or easier. These tips can help you throughout the journey to building your family.

One more thing. Though your body is growing to help make room for your baby know that you are still as beautiful as the day you conceived, if not more. Whatever stress you are holding onto should be let go. The stress hormones in your body are shared with your baby, and lower back pain is related to those stress hormones. Whatever you can do to relax and have a happy pregnancy will not only help you but you your baby as well.

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Published on July 22, 2021

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week
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It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

    These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

    Get the recipe here.

    2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

      This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

      To try this recipe, go here.

      3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

        Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

        Check out the recipe here.

        4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

          Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

          5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

            This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

            Find the recipe here.

            6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

              The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

              Get the recipe for this dish here.

              7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                You can find the recipe here.

                8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                  Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                  Find the recipe here.

                  9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                    This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                    Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                    10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                      Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                      The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                      11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                        Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                        Find the recipe here.

                        12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                          This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                            Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                            This easy recipe can be found here.

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                            14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                              Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                              Find out how to make it here.

                              15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                The recipe can be found here.

                                16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                  This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                  Find the recipe here.

                                  17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                    Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                    Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                    18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                      Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                        Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                        Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                        20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                          Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                          Get the recipe here.

                                          Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                          Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                          Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                          1. Lose the Sugar

                                          Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                          2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                          Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                          3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                          Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                          When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                          Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                          Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                          More Healthy Eating Tips

                                          Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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